Saturday, April 16, 2011

Understanding the Links Between ADD/ADHD and Sensory Integration Disorder

Many frustrated parents are unaware of the similarities and the links between ADD/ADHD and Sensory Integration Disorder. In fact, many people have not yet heard of it. Sensory Integration Disorder is basically a condition whereby the brain is unable to fully utilize the information gathered through the senses in an effective, organized way.
Children with sensory integration disorder (SI) may have difficulty finding the right balance to react to information received. Sufferers tend to react in extremes to things such as touch, smells, sounds and tastes that other people take in their stride as part of their daily life.
A child with this condition will display extreme and anti-social behavior as the senses are experienced. The behavior could involve extreme emotional outbursts, crying, tantrums and more. Parents' first instinct is to assume that the child is trying to get attention through this behavior when in fact it is sensory integration disorder.
Kids with ADD/ADHD and SI disorder will display a number of other symptoms. Kids with hearing sensitivities will hear noises that other people do not hear, such as people chewing or breathing or other background noises.
Children with touch sensitivities will be indifferent to temperatures or pain. They will refuse to wear clothes made of certain fabrics or wear long sleeves even in summer to avoid skin showing. They may also avoid physical contact with other people. They are also likely to avoid grooming and any activities that involve touching their faces, hair or teeth. Kids with ADD/ADHD and SI may have very low or very high activity levels, spin things around and taking things apart.
The brain is unable to process and interpret information that is entering properly, which causes them to be unable to form a proper impression from the combined information of all the senses. Parents are likely to view the child's reaction as misbehavior, but the child suffering from ADD/ADHD and sensory integration disorder is probably very fearful and confused.

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